THEODOSIA HUNT CONAGHY was born in Gloucester City, New Jersey in March of 1875, one of 10 children of James S. Hunt and his wife Mary. By 1880 the family moved to 819 Kaighn Street, which was renamed Dauphin Street in January of 1882. James S. Hunt in time became involved in local politics, and over the years held a number of positions. By 1894 James Hunt, then the Fish Warden, and his family was living at 316 Line Street. Brother George H. Hunt married and moved out that year. Theodosia Hunt and her sister Annie worked as pen slitters at the Esterbrook Pen factory in the late 1890s.
The Hunt family was still living at 316 Line Street when the Census was taken on June 1, 1900. Two of her siblings were then living at home, younger sister Katherine and younger brother Eli Morgan Hunt. Besides brother George H. Hunt two other siblings had moved out, sadly, four of the Hunt children had by then died. When the census was taken in 1900 James S. Hunt was then a constable in Camden, a political appointment not without a measure of local influence.
Theodosia Hunt married coal and ice merchant Joseph Henry Conaghy sometime after 1900. The 1906 City Directory shows the Conaghys living at 246 Pine Street, where Joseph Conaghy also conducted his business, the Eagle Ice & Coal Company.
The 1910 Census shows that Joseph Conaghy had gone into the tavern business. He was then operating a bar at 601-603 Kaighn Avenue, where he and Theodosia made their home. Brother George Hunt had been appointed to the Camden Fire Department. Eli Hunt was then serving in the United States Navy, he too would join the Camden Fire Department after his military service had been concluded.
The 1914 City Directory shows that Joseph's younger brother James P. Conaghy of 812 South 6th Street was then running the Eagle Ice & Coal Company. Joseph and Theodosia Conaghy were living at and operating a bar known, appropriately enough, as Conaghy's, at 950 South 5th Street. The bar venture did not fare well, however. By September of 1918 Joseph Conaghy had purchased a home at 814 South 6th Street, next door to James Conaghy, who had been at 812 South 6th Street as far back as 1914.
When he registered for the draft in September of 1918 Joseph Conaghy had gone into the bottling business at 435-439 Cherry Street. By the end of 1919 health problems had forced Joseph Conaghy into an early retirement. Then also living at 814 South 6th Street with nephew Eli E. Conaghy, the son of James Conaghy. Joseph Conaghy died not long after the Census was taken in 1920.
In 1923 the widowed Mrs. Conaghy was appointed to the position of matron at the Camden County Jail, adjacent to the courthouse at Broadway and Federal Streets.
In April of 1930 Mrs. Conaghy and her nephew were still living at 814 South 6th street. Her brother Eli Hunt, then a Captain of the Camden Fire Department, was also living there, as was a boarder, Nellie Farley. Next door at 812 South 6th Street lived James Conaghy, who then was in the real estate business.
When the 1947 Camden City Directory was compiled, Theodosia Conaghy had moved to 543 Roberts Street. Her nephew had married and was living with his wife Evelyn at 558 Line Street. Eli Hunt had retired by the spring of 1942 and was not listed, it is probable that he had passed away by this time. James Conaghy was still living at 812 South 6th Street.
Mrs. Conaghy retired in 1950 after serving as a matron at the Camden County Jail for 27 years. Although she was about 75 years of age, her retirement was very probably due as much or more to the institution of a mandatory retirement age of 65 in 1950 for police, firemen, and certain other government employees in New Jersey than due to age. There were at least one police officer and one fireman in Camden who were of the same age who retired that year due to the new regulations.
In her later years Theodosia Conaghy again lived with her nephew Eli. Last a resident of 704 Berkley Street, she died on December 7, 1957, survived by her nephew and a sister, Mrs. Katherine Abrams.
Mrs. Conaghy had been for many years prior to moving to Berkley Street been an active member of the Sixth Ward Republican Club, and as her appointment to the job at the County Jail occurred long before the enactment of civil service legislation, probably was hired due to her political affiliation. After moving to Berkley Street she joined the Ninth Ward Republican Club. She was also a member of the Ladies of the Moose, the Army & Navy Women's Auxiliary, the Welcome Social Club, and the Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Eli E. Conaghy resided at 704 Berkley Street until about 1958. He had purchased his aunt Theodosia's property at 543 Roberts Street and moved to that address. Around 1965 he suffered a stroke and was confined to Cooper Hospital for six months, at which time he was moved to the Camden County Hospital at Lakeland where he remained until his death. He was survived by one son and two daughters (daughter Eileen passed in 2007), five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Eli Conaghy had boxed professionally in his younger days as Kid Conaghy, was a member of Ironworkers Local 399 and was a veteran of World War II. Eli Conaghy passed away in December of 1968. He is buried at Harleigh Cemetery.
|Camden Evening Courier - January 20, 1928|
SIXTH WARD G.O.P. CLUB INSTALLS NEW OFFICERS
The newly-elected officers of the Sixth Ward
Women’s Republican Club, 908 Broadway,
were installed last night. The installation was conducted by Mrs. Anna
Moffett, county committeewoman of Gloucester.
Those installed were Mary S. Hartung,
president; Mrs. Jennie F. Sayrs, first vice president; Mrs. Theodosia Conaghy,
second vice president; Mrs. Irma Becker, recording secretary; Mrs.
Elizabeth Batesta, financial secretary; Mrs. Louis C. Doyle, treasurer,
and Mrs. Edith Keys, chairman of the entertainment committee.
Mrs. Elizabeth Verga, vice chairman of the Camden County Republican committee, gave a short talk. Gertrude McDermott, of Gloucester, gave several vocal selections. Members of the First, Second and Third Ward Clubs of Gloucester were guests.
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